Monday, December 21, 2015

We're Different...

We've all seen "You know you're a runner when..." memes or other such social media posts that highlight (and sometimes make fun of) the things that make us runners different. And if you have any non-runner friends (NRFs), I'm pretty sure there have been conversations where they try to understand why you pay to run 13.1/26.2 miles... for fun. You know those conversations right? For me it normally starts with a NRF seeing me icing my knee or massaging an achy muscle and they ask "What did you hurt this time?!" immediately followed by "Please tell me why you do this again?"

If I had a great answer to that question I would tell you (and them), but the reality is, as much as I love running, sometimes I wonder the same thing: "Why am I doing this?" To be fair, I only ask myself that question when I can't run (usually because of an injury) and sadly I'm in that situation far too often. The "why?" question immediately precedes the "It's so unfair that running is so hard for me" whining statement; and if I allow it, I'll fall into a very sulky mood. 

So that's kind of how my day went today. At least five people asked me if I was limping (I was) and provided sage "advice on caring for my body" and "making my joints last". But my sulky mood wasn't just because my knee is still bothering me (it's been a week so that should have been reason enough), but also because I'm disappointed that the goals/plans/desires I have are not going to happen the way I hoped.
I'm not going to spend the entire post sulking and pouting about how hard running can be for me, but I wanted to highlight the fact that sometimes it really is hard. If you're a runner you know the kind of time, energy and effort that goes into training for races (especially longer distance events). And if you've ever been an injured runner I'm sure you're familiar with feelings of frustration & disappointment when races need to be cancelled or deferred. And if you're not a runner (I'm sorry) or you've never been injured (that's a blessing) then I'm sure you can relate to simply having your heart set on something only to have it break (again) when things just don't work out...

To cheer myself up I looked at some pictures my brother-in-law (also a runner) sent of "old school" Adidas ads that talk about what makes runners different: 
Things like our unwavering determination to complete the race/training run we set out to do...
Our willingness to answer Nature's call, regardless of where we might be...

Our desire to showcase ALL our accomplishments...

And our commitment to cross training and stretching...

These ads got me thinking about all the things that are different about me now that I'm a runner (apart from the fact that I have this blog, and I talk about running a lot), like...

1. My wardrobe has tripled in size and 95% 98% of my clothes are running clothes. I have a hard time finding a "regular" outfit to wear :(

2. I have an unnatural love for Vaseline and all things "anti-blister" or "anti-chafing". It has been a life saver for me!

3. I schedule everything around my training plan (meetings, dentist appointments, eating out etc). Don't get me wrong, I still engage in life and my schedule is flexible. But if I have a crucial run in the morning then I'm not likely to stay out late.

4. I currently have more pairs of running sneakers than I had for the previous 5 years total. I have to switch out my shoes very often and so their running life doesn't typically go past 300 miles. After their running life is over my sneakers have a walking life (with untracked mileage). 

5. I've made more friendships from running in the past 2 years than I have (from interacting in any other setting combined) in the previous two years. And I appreciate single one of them :)

Have you always been a runner? When did you start running?

What are some of the things that are different about you now as a runner vs. when you weren't running?

What's the weirdest/silliest question/comment a NRF has asked you or said?


  1. I remember these ads so well. They were great. I just saw these (and a few others) posted somewhere just the other day. Love them.

    1. Yup the source link (below first ad) can take you to a page that shows the rest (or some of the rest). They are pretty accurate too ;)

  2. Hahaha, this is awesome!! I've definitely done some stretching in weird places before.


Thanks for your comment!